02 Nov 2020
24 Free Things to do in Cedar City, Utah
There’s always something happening in Cedar City! From events and festivals to outdoor recreation there’s more than enough to fill make your stay memorable, and many of those options are free or of little cost. Below you’ll find a list of 24 Free Things to do in Cedar City and an additional 5 activities that are guaranteed to not break the bank.
WINDOW SHOP HISTORIC DOWNTOWN
Cedar City’s downtown has quaint shops, art galleries, local restaurants, coffee houses, an old-time soda fountain, and antique stores. Historical buildings in the district include the Old Post Office, Rock Church, and Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Most shops are open Monday-Saturday. Includes the area of Main St. from 200 North to Center St.
EXPLORE THE PAROWAN GAP PETROGLYPHS
Parowan Gap is on the National Register of Historic Sites and features ancient Native American rock art. Recent studies theorize that it is also an ancient solar calendar (pick up the Parowan Gap Petroglyphs brochure at the Cedar City or Parowan Visitor Centers). To get there: Travel north on Main St. in Cedar City through Enoch along Hwy 130; watch for mile marker 19 and a sign that points east towards the gap. Turn onto a paved road, travel straight 2.5 miles to the gap.
PLAY AT CEDAR CANYON PARK
The Cedar Canyon Park is located on both sides of Coal Creek. Two pavilions are available for group gatherings. The volleyball court and playground are also available. A small stream runs through the park which is fun for boat races. Head east on Center St. toward Cedar Canyon to access the park.
RUN, WALK, OR BIKE THE COAL CREEK PARKWAY TRAIL
The paved, scenic walking trail is located along the banks of Coal Creek and weaves its way up into Cedar Canyon. The 3.5-mile trail is perfect for rollerblades, bikes, strollers, or just an afternoon walk with a loved one or pet. There are exercise stations along the trail. Access the trail at Bicentennial Park, Veterans Park, Cedar City Visitor Center, and Cedar Canyon Park.
SING ALONG AT THE UTAH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL GREENSHOW
The lovely green of the Ashton Family Greenshow Commons just in front of the Engelstad Theatre comes alive with song and dance of the Elizabethan era each evening with the free Greenshow. Held Monday through Saturday (mid June – September). Bring your own blankets and chairs. The Utah Shakespeare Festival is located at 195 W. University Blvd.
DIG PARK DISCOVERY
A ginormous interactive play structure built from the design concepts of local children. Park Discovery has towers, ramps, water, cultural and historical elements and dozens of educational features as well. Dig for “dinosaur bones,” fly a kite, walk the 3/4 mile paved walking path that surrounds the park. Located at 2077 W. Royal Hunt Dr.
STROLL THE SOUTHERN UTAH UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
The campus walks of Southern Utah University are beautifully landscaped with fountains, ponds, lush vegetation and beautiful bronze statues. The outdoor Adam’s Memorial Theatre courtyard simulates the atmosphere of Stratford-upon Avon. The Greek themed Eccles Coliseum features statues, towers, spires and the stainless steel Utah Summer Games cauldron that sits atop a 2002 Olympic Legacy Monument. Along with the beautiful landscaping and lush vegetation this walking tour is filled with museum quality sculptures. For a brochure and map with all the locations of the sculptures stop by the Cedar City Visitor Center or pick one up on campus. Located at 351 W. University Blvd., Cedar City.
HONOR OUR NATION’S HEROES AT VETERAN’S MEMORIAL PARK
Large scale memorials including statues and walking trails have been constructed to honor veterans of World Wars I and II, Afghanistan, Iraqi Freedom, Korea and Vietnam. Open all year, daylight hours only, weather permitting. Located next to the Coal Creek Trail at 200 N 200 East.
RETRACE HISTORY AT DAUGHTERS OF THE UTAH PIONEER MUSEUM
The Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum displays local pioneer artifacts and other historical information. Open all year, 1—4 pm, Monday through Friday. The museum is located inside the Cedar City Visitor Center at 581 North Main, Cedar City.
SKATE EXIT 59
Features several ramps and rails open to skateboarders, inline skates, and bikes. Open all year, weather permitting. Located next to the Bicentennial Softball Complex at 660 West 954 North.
TOUR OLD ROCK CHURCH
The Old Rock Church is the crown jewel of the Cedar City downtown, built from donated materials and local labor during the Great Depression. Everyone is welcome. Open mid-June through August, typically on Wednesdays. Located at 100 East Center Street.
WALK AROUND OLD IRON TOWN
Just 25 miles west of Cedar City is Old Iron Town. Tour the ruins of the historic ironworks and a preserved beehive-shaped charcoal oven and stroll along the nature trail.
FISH AT WOOD’S RANCH RECREATION AREA
Wood’s Ranch is a nice area for picnics, volleyball, and hiking the Virgin River Rim Trailhead. The Kids Pond is available for kids 12 years or younger to fish for free (must be accompanied by an adult with a valid Utah fishing license). Open late May through September. Located 12 miles east of Cedar City on Highway 14.
GO BIRD WATCHING
Cedar City and the surrounding area feature beautiful birding areas and trails plentiful with species of birds and raptors. A free bird-watching trail guide is available at the Cedar City Visitor Center.
EXPAND YOUR MIND AT THE CEDAR CITY LIBRARY IN THE PARK
The Cedar City Library offers a great children’s section with storytime every Thursday. The library often features traveling exhibits. The library is located at 303 North 100 East and open Monday through Saturday.
HIT THE BEACH
The Lake at the Hills (part of the Hills Recreation Complex) is open for fishing, non-motorized boating, and swimming. Take a picnic lunch and don’t forget your swimsuit. Open daylight hours only. Must have a valid fishing license to fish. Lake at the Hills is located at 2090 W. Royal Hunte Dr. Parking area for the lake is at the beach behind the Cedar City Aquatic Center. Kayak Rentals (June to September) and restrooms are also available. No lifeguard on duty.
APPRECIATE ART AT THE SOUTHERN UTAH MUSEUM OF ART
New to Cedar City in 2016, the Southern Utah Museum of Art features regional and national art exhibits. Located at 13 West Center St. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10—7 pm, with extended summer hours.
COOL DOWN AT THE HERITAGE THEATER WATER FEATURE
Located in front of the Festival Hall Entrance/Parking garage on the Main St. side of the Heritage Theater. Press the button and water jets out in “spontaneous” intervals. It’s a fun way to cool down on a hot day. Open daylight hours during the summer.
CHECK OUT PAROWAN
Southern Utah’s original settlement is located just 18 miles north of Cedar City. Historic points of interest include Old Rock Church Museum, the Jesse N. Smith pioneer home, Dr. Meeks cabin and urban fishery, the Parowan Heritage Park, and the award-winning cemetery tour. Check with the Parowan Visitor Center for the museum schedule at 74 North Main. And now, new to Parowan is The Sweet Tour, a must for your next visit.
TAKE A SCENIC DRIVE
Cedar City is surrounded by a network of state scenic byways featuring awesome scenery, hiking trails and wildlife. Utah’s Newest National Scenic Byway SR-143 from Parowan to Panguitch is a stunning route. Other notable state scenic byways include SR-14 connecting Cedar City to Highway 89 and SR -148 through Cedar Breaks National Monument.
ADVENTURE INTO THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Nearby Dixie National Forest provides the ultimate outdoor adventure. Often referred to as Cedar Mountain, the forest has lakes, streams, meadows, caves, and ancient lava beds. Favorite spots include Navajo Lake, Duck Creek Village, Brian Head, Mammoth Cave, and Yankee Meadow.
LIVE IT UP!
From car shows to street festivals and concerts in the park, most of our events are family-friendly and free. Check out a complete calendar of events happening in Cedar City here.
STAR GAZE AT SOUTHERN UTAH UNIVERSITY OBSERVATORY
Open every Monday night. Plan on arriving at the observatory just as the sunsets. For more information, directions, and schedule call (435) 586-1409.
FIVE CHEAP ACTIVITIES
CEDAR BREAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT
Enjoy guided nature walks in the summer and fall, wildlife, picnics, and beautiful scenery at Cedar Breaks National Monument. Kids take part in the fun and educational Junior Ranger Program, included in your park entrance fee. Open June to mid-November to regular vehicle traffic. Located 20 miles east of Cedar City via Highway 14 to Highway 148. $5 entrance fee per person at the Visitors Center, good for seven days.
CEDAR CITY AQUATIC CENTER
The Cedar City Aquatic Center includes a Leisure Pool with a hot tub, lazy river, water slide, toddler splash pool, sun deck, play structures, and fountains. The center also includes an outdoor pool and an 8-lane competitive pool. Located at 2090 West Royal Hunte Dr. Adults (18–62) $4.50, youth (4—17) $4.00, senior citizens $3.50, and toddlers are free.
FRONTIER HOMESTEAD STATE PARK MUSEUM
The Frontier Homestead State Park features pioneer artifacts, displays, living history activity stations, a large collection of horse-drawn vehicles, and rotating displays of regional arts and crafts. Open all year, Monday through Saturday. Located at 635 North Main. A $4.00 admission fee per person.
BRIAN HEAD SKI RESORT LIFT RIDE
Ride to the top of Brian Head Peak for stunning views into Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. From the top you can mountain bike, hike, play disc golf, or ride the lift back down the mountain. $12 for adults, $8 for kids and seniors. Open late June through September, weekends only.
SOUTHERN UTAH UNIVERSITY CLIMBING WALL
Located inside the Southern Utah University PE building at 351 W University Blvd. Open Monday through Saturday. The cost is $6. Youth 18 or younger must have a legal guardian present to sign the waiver. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by their legal guardian.